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Production news round-up: June 1 to June 7

Rent will embark on a new UK tour later this year
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The Woman in Black will launch a new UK tour in September, as the West End production marks 27 years at the Fortune Theatre in London. Opening at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield, the tour will begin on September 13 and continue until June next year, when it ends at the New Theatre in Cardiff.
Author: Stephen Mallatratt
Director: Robin Herford
Cast includes: David Acton, Matthew Spencer
Producer: PW Productions
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Belarus Free Theatre is to stage a new production with Pussy Riot performer Maria Alyokhina, who makes her theatre debut. Burning Doors will premiere this autumn, touring venues including Curve, Soho Theatre and the New Theatre in Portsmouth. New BFT shows also include Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion, which runs at the Arcola Theatre and the Albany in October and November.

A new production of the musical Rent that will celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary will tour the UK later this year. The production will star Ross Hunter, Billy Cullum, Ryan O’Gorman, Shanay Holmes, Layton Williams, Lucie Jones and Philippa Stefani. Opening at Theatr Clwyd in October, the show will tour before running at the St James Theatre in London over Christmas.
Author: Jonathan Larson
Director: Bruce Guthrie
Design: Anna Fleischle (set), Rick Fisher (lighting), Mike Walker (sound), Loren Elstein (costume), Andrzej Goulding (video)
Choreographer: Lee Proud
Musical director: Phil Cornwell
Casting: Will Burton
Producers: Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals, in association with Theatr Clwyd and Wales Millennium Centre
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A new jukebox musical based on the life of Frank Sinatra is being developed by Ambassador Theatre Group, with plans to open it in 2018. The as-yet-untitled musical will feature songs from Sinatra’s extensive back catalogue, though further creatives – including the book writer – have not yet been announced.
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Casting has been announced for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring the previously announced Declan Bennett. Tyrone Huntley, Anoushka Lucas, David Thaxton and Cavin Cornwall will also star in the musical, alongside Peter Caulfield, Phil King, Joel Harper-Jackson and Sean Kingsley. It opens next month at the London venue, running until August 27.
Authors: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics)
Director: Timothy Sheader
Design: Tom Scutt (set)
Choreographer: Drew McOnie
Musical director: Tom Deering
Producer: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Full casting has been announced for the national tour of Sister Act, which begins in July. Performers including Joanna Francis, Jon Robyns, Karen Mann and Rosemary Ashe will join the previously announced Alexandra Burke in the musical, which opens at Curve on July 30. It will then tour the UK until July 2017.
Authors: Alan Menken (music), Glenn Slater (lyrics), Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner (book), Douglas Carter Beane (additional book)
Director/choreographer: Craig Revel Horwood
Design: Matthew Wright (set and costume), Richard G Jones (lighting), Richard Brooker (sound)
Cast also includes: Aaron Lee Lambert, Sarah Goggin, Susannah Van Den Berg, Allison Harding, Ricky Rojas, Samuel Morgan-Grahame, Sandy Grigelis, Nicola Bryan, Jennifer Douglas, Aiesha Pease, Sally Peerless and Justin Wilman
Producer: Jamie Wilson Productions

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt will join the previously announced Kerry Ellis in forthcoming musical Murder Ballad. The show will open at the Arts Theatre on September 29, with press night on October 5. It runs until September 29.
Authors: Juliana Nash (music and lyrics), Julia Jordan (book)
Director: Sam Yates
Design: Richard Kent
Producer: Soundcheck Group

Louise Dearman and Julian Ovenden are among the performers who will feature in a one-off celebration of the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein later this year. Something Wonderful: The Rodgers and Hammerstein Concert will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on September 15, and will also feature the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

A circus show from the creative team behind Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour is to come to the Hippodrome in Leicester Square. Blanc de Blanc, which comes to London following a run at the Sydney Opera House, runs at the Hippodrome from July 14 to August 28.
Director: Scott Maidment
Design: James Brown (costume)
Choreography: Kevin Maher
Producer: Strut and Fret Production House in association with the London Hippodrome
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Joanna Strand will lead a line-up of West End performers, including Gary Williams and Jacqui Tate, in a one-off cabaret performance at the London Hippodrome, in aid of the Make a Difference Trust. The show will take place on July 14.

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